First off... I don't have a whole lot of time today, because today is transfer calls and we depart in the morning (where we are used to leaving not till Wed) so we have been running around busy all day!! Like chickens with our heads cut off, really. Speaking of transfers... I AM STAYING HERE IN THE DESERT!! (But Sister Lee is leaving, so we have to get her all squared away. Cleaned, packed, goodbyes, all that good stuff. She is going to the stake over. So not too far.) I am staying here and will be training a brand new missionary again. I'm excited to meet her in the morning! Sad to see Sis Lee go, we have had a lot of fun together. But she is a great missionary and is ready to go take on Yucca Valley. And i am excited to get to meet a new friend. I have a feeling she's pretty cool. Haha.
This week truly was incredible. Our conference with Elder William R. Walker of the Seventy was so inspired and I truly learned a lot from the Spirit that day as well. One thing that I felt was inspired was that he told me about this video that he has on LDS.org about temples. It's like going to an open house, it's so cool. WATCH!! http://www.lds.org/church/
OH! Want to know something CRAZY?!! Crazy AWESOME?!! You'll never guess... so I'll just tell you. I GOT TO SING WITH A GENERAL AUTHORITY!!! It was amazing. And I mean like... we Actually sang together. Me, Sister Lee, Elder Cebreros, Elder Gore, and Elder Walker sang Nearer My God to Thee at the conference! So in front of... a good amount of missionaries. Haha. It was his idea even! But he blamed it on me. He had to talk me into it... but when a general authority asks you to do something... you do it. haha. It's kind of like... he asks you to jump and you ask how high. I warned him that I am not the singer in the companionship (Sister Lee is amazing though, have I mentioned that before?) but with that disclaimer I said... If you want me to, gladly. So... long story short... we did. And it was amazing (: Especially for someone like me to be able to say that haha. It was just a neat experience. Very sweet, for sure. Also... Elder Walker is hilarious. I wrote down all sorts of notes on his training on how to be a good missionary, but I also wrote down a ton of funny quotes he said. I think it's important to laugh (: Before singing the spontanious song he looked to the audience and said, "We only practiced once..." and then after the song was over he turned to them again and said, "This was Sister Busenbark's idea..." haha Maybe you had to be there... but it was too funny. And something I'll never forget, too (: How this came about, I don't have time to write.. but I'm sure glad it did.
Oh! We also got several new investigators this week! However, we realized the very next day that they were a block outside of our area. We were still excited. I won't lie, we were tempted to keep them for ourselves. But we knew that their missionaries are not us so we can't recieve revelation for them, and they would be better off in the ward they live under, and we knew that we would be blessed for having done so. Not to mention, all missionaries are all doing the same work of the Lord. But, it was still a blessing to be able to meet Steve and his dear family. And Omar, too. I know all I have time to tell you are their names... but I am excited for them. They are great. I'll be happy if I get to see them again sometime and be updated on their progress. Like I've said before, my favorite part.
I went on exchanges too, which were really great for me. I'm glad I went on it this close to transfers. It was such an amazing day and we experienced miracles! We talked to several different people as we were going from appointment to appointment and ended up running in to some less active members who asked me to come by to teach them this week! I never would have known who they were had we not been willing to slow down and talk to everyone! One of the members even said that we made her whole YEAR by stopping to talk to her. Huge testimony builder for me, of talking with everyone as well as of being where you're supposed to be when you're supposed to be there. Sister Jones is great and I was reminded of several things that I have stopped doing that I really need to start again. It was perfect. I'm excited for the new transfer... CHANGE is good. It'll be good.
Sister Lee is great too! And not just because of her voice that gives me once in a life time opportunities to sing with a general authority. haha. I am really excited for her to have the opportunity to train. You learn so much as a trainer. She is very charitable, and I believe that she has helped me learn how to actually show the love that I know that I have. My spirit brothers and sisters. I don't have a hard time loving people, if that's ok to say without being too cocky... but another part of that truth is that I have a hard time showing it in a way that most people feel it. But, l really feel like I'm improving, and that's a great feeling!! I have such a strong testimony of love as I have seen how many hearts it opens to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am really thrilled for this next transfer, and I grateful for the opportunity I have to be able to train again. The work is going forward! And I love being a part of it. Because it is so... wait for it... TRUE!!
Your Daughter, Grandaughter, Friend, Aunt, Cousin, Sister Madisen Busenbark (:
Your Daughter, Grandaughter, Friend, Aunt, Cousin, Sister Madisen Busenbark (:
So, today I had all the time in the world to do whatever I wanted! And it was a very stress-free p-day (: But then... while we were emailing... Sister Lee's computer kicked her off. Which means I have no time to email this week... So sorry!!
This week was definitely one to remember, though. The baptism on Saturday was beautiful. They always are though, so that's no surprise. Patricia looked right at place there wearing her white suit entering the waters of baptism, and her confirmation on Sunday was just beautiful. I hope she paid as close of attention as I did because it told her a lot about her next steps- of partaking of more blessings of the Priesthood and being sealed to her deceased ancestors in the temple. There was a lot of support from the ward, and we even had some of the people we're teaching come too, who really felt the Spirit there. One of whom has a baptismal date and is now really excited, and the other who finally agreed to come to church the following day (and did!) and will soon have a baptismal date, no doubt about it. The people we are teaching are really progressing and we've got big plans for them! I love being able to see the change in them, and be able to help them along the way. I see all those who I am currently working with there in the Celestial room with me at the end of the mission. It's a pretty cool image to imagine. They say I help them want to be better, I say that's the Spirit. And I would add that they make me want to be better! I can't expect them to change their lives for eternity if I'm not willing to live the higher missionary standards for a year and a half(which will no doubt help prepare me for the rest of my life).
So, what we did this week for a lesson with a man named Fred (who is super awesome, but needs what we all need... THE ATONEMENT) is something I've wanted to do for a long time. We studied with him Alma 24(study this chapter! my favorite part is where they are SO clearly SERIOUS (like they SHOULD be) about their covenants with God!), and then we each picked something (keeping them to ourselves) that we wanted to give up in order to come closer to God, and we wrote them on swords and buried them in the ground. Just like the anti-nephi-lehies! (there's even going to be cement over that in a few weeks! nobody's ever going to dig these things up!) It was really neat because to help him decide what it was that he wanted to burry, we asked him the question "What is it that you feel is holding you back from following the example of Jesus Christ (which is what he says he wants to do. but he doesn't want to be baptized yet.) and being baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God?" And that's what he chose to burry! We talked about how this was all symbolism, and what he needed to do in order to repent and truly feel that redeeming power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. After burying them, we said a prayer... and he said "I don't know why, but I'm feeling really good." It was a really neat experience for all of us, I think. And we're really excited to see how the Spirit continues to impact him as he lets go of his past and allows the Atonement to take full effect in his life. I have already seen such big change with him since meeting him, and it brings such joy to my soul to see. And with that, I am very thrilled for a conference we are having tomorrow. Elder Walker of the seventy is coming to speak to us! As we received this inspiration during a District Meeting, I am looking forward to receiving even more during this conference.
I've got my pen ready to put my faith to action and be ready to write down revelation I receive so that I won't forget! BIG things are going to happen here in the desert... assuming I stay (: (I find out next week) Or somewhere else, if I move, too of course. haha. The desert really is blooming though (: (Isaiah 35:1) California Redlands mission is the place to be.
Have a great week,
Sister Madisen Busenbark
Shout out to my favorite brother!! Happy birthday, Alex (: I love you a lot!!
Family! Which includes friends!
Hi (: How are you all this week? This past week?
This past week was incredible here in California.
Unfortunately I do not have very much time today. (the library was closed yesterday so we get to come today, but then we don't get as much time to spend here) So I will try to give you as much as I can (:
Anywho... To start off... I feel GREAT! Well, last week I did! Better than I have the whole mission! Which resulted in being able to work as hard as I have been wanting to work... resulting in 29 lessons! However, I know that success is not measured in numbers... it felt real good to be able to work real hard and see so many people. And TEACH them, to be able to help them come closer to our Lord and Savior. (Which reminds me... we started teaching a lovely lady named Jill who asked US if she could be baptized! She came to church on Sunday! And has already started reading the Book of Mormon! She is progressing rapidly (: And another friend came to church this week too and LOVED it so things are going well there too! We truly are being blessed over here in the desert... watching it BLOOM (: Isaiah 35:1)
I have another bit on obedience to share! (Doctrine & Covenants 130:20-21) Don't cringe your teeth. It's a good one. I promise. It more adequately explains everything about the importance of obedient missionaries that I had been trying to portray....
"The great opportunity in teaching obedience to missionaries is to help them see the connection between the Savior, the companionship of the Spirit, and love. It is to teach them that obedience to the commands of the Father and His Son out of love for Them brings the Spirit. The companionship of the Spirit will bring light and truth, the foundation of successful missionary work and of a happy life. It can be taught in simple matters. A missionary can put on a seat belt because he or she remembers the safety video from the last zone conference. Or they can do it because they love the mission president and he told them to do it. It is a completely different experience to do it because they think of the Savior’s love and that He cares so much for their service and that He loves them so much that He wants them safe. The truth is that He needs us. He loves us. When a missionary feels that love of the Savior as he buckles up, he is more than safer in the car. He will be safe against the power of evil in his ministry and he will be safe in his life against more dangers than traffic accidents. He will have learned obedience to the Lord. He will encounter other rules and there will be other presidents, but the loving Savior will not change and He will always be there.” A Life Founded in Light and Truth - BYU Devotional – August 15, 2000 - Henry B. Eyring
There. Couldn't have said it better myself. (:
Conference did nothing but inhance my study of obedience! haha. And studying last conference too... because, of course, just because we have new talks doesn't mean we forget about the old ones!
Some April conference... Back to back talks (:
Obedience to Law Is Liberty- Elder Perry
Obedience Brings Blessings- President Monson
Speaking of conference.... I am SO grateful for prophet!! I know that God loves us because He BLESSED US WITH PROPHETS!! So grateful that I decided to learn We Thank Thee Oh God For A Prophet on the guitar! And then we sang it to Beverly, and basically... she loved it (: haha She LOVES that we have a prophet to lead and guide us! She forgets things real easy... and so we teach her about prophets often. And every single time, without fail, she lights up to learn that we have a prophet on the earth today! I love it (:
So, some fun/funny stuff... I know that many of you saw some facebook videos... I had to do it! haha. It was a fun dinner appointment. And then lead to us inviting all the other missionaries over for p-day yesterday to try!! haha. It was so funny. Made for a real good time (:
We're becoming real good friends with this girl in the ward named Ashley. She is my age, and her twin brother is on a mission. We have been bringing her along with us quite a bit, and fun things too. Last night we all went to our friend Fred's house to have pizza and watch the Testaments (her dad is in this movie, by the way. so is my bishop! and one other lady in our ward.) and talk about the Book of Mormon and Jesus Christ coming to the Americas. I think it really touched him. He's incredible. And even came up with the idea to fast today! So we're praying he recieves the answers he is looking for and continues to progress... my favorite thing to see (: After we taught him the plan of salvation, he called us the next day and told us that he couldn't get it off his mind, because it was blowing his mind! haha. The Plan of Salvation tends to be the favorite lesson often. I know that it's one of my favorites to teach.
I love it because... well because it is through this everlasting gospel that we have a knowledge of the plan of salvation, which enables us to be able to live with our familes forever in a state of neverending happiness. Which is what we are teaching tonight... to Ashley's sister's fiance actually. (His name is Jason, her name is Jen) It's one of my favorite things to help people understand... that because of a loving Heavenly Father... this life has a purpose (: And that purpose is a GREAT purpose because we are divine heirs of a Glorious God.
Well friends (which includes Family, of course!) I want to close today by sharing the Redlands California Mission Scripture! But before looking it up, I want you to define a few words.... please define the following words: diligently, always, to be, all, and if! K, NOW, go look up Doctrine & Covenants 90:24 (:
The church is true! ALWAYS! Because Christ promised that it would never again be taken from the earth! Doctrine & Covenants 13:1 (:
Love ALWAYS, Sister Madisen E. Busenbark (:
It's been another great week in California!!
(I think of BYU-I devotionals every once in a while whenever I think of it being "another great day" haha. President Clark used to say that every single Tuesday! "another great day at byu-i" whether it were sun or rain, sleet or snow!)
Looking back on the week... not a whole lot happened. (It was mostly just a bunch of preparing for General Conference, trying to control the headaches, and teaching as much as we could.) But at the same time, we saw miracles every day.
A lot of our miracles came during general conference... Each talk spoke to me, and rang true to my heart. I know that they are called of God because of it! It was a blessing to be able to hear from them, and receive my own personal revelation as I listened to their revelation for the world. I went with many many questions, both for me and for those who we are teaching. And I'll tell you what... I had no more questions by the end of the weekend!
This super cool thing happened... On Friday, Sister Lee and I taught a lesson about Jesus Christ and His love for us. We showed the Mormon message about Stephanie (the lady who had to start her new life, because of a plane crash and burn) and then sure enough... her story was shared during conference! And again, I shared this poem on Friday when talking about trials and how they strengthen us... the poem titled Good Timer Grows! That President Monson shared! And those are just specifics, there were countless other Topics that were discussed that we have been teaching/discussing about recently. It was kind of neat to see how CLEARLY the Lord is guiding His work-- guiding us in our lessons!
Didn't you all absolutely love hearing from these men of God? If you missed any... go listen now. And if you got to listen the first time... go listen again. Again and again! What were some of your favorites? I want to talk about them! What themes did you pick up? I heard a lot of repentance, enduring WELL, and marriage and family!! Some of my favorite topics too (: I enjoyed them. I can't wait till they come to ensign form so that I can mark up and study those new scriptures!
Did you love the talk about missionary work? The one that promised that if each family invites another family to meet with the missionaries by the end of the year we will have millions of brothers and sisters come back to our Heavenly Father's fold! That was pretty cool I think (: hehe Soo... who's going to do it? Seriously... I don't want to hog all this blessing seeing to myself! I pray that you will all have these great missionary experiences too.
Doctrine and Covenants 18:15 (:
As a missionary I am programed to follow up with you (; hehe Are we all trying a little bit harder to be a little bit better? As long as we're all progressing... each and every day... then we're on the right track (:
I love you and pray for you each day!
Here's a cool experience that I had at the beginning of the week... We went over to the Willinsky's house. They are both super duper ubber loads of awesome. Brother Willinsky is a non-member. But goes to church each Sunday, and they have the missionaries over for dinner each month since they were married... so for about 5 years. Well anyways... we found out that he has never had the missionaries teach him the actual discussions! My guess is that everybody just assumed that he has had them... so they just talk about gospel things. Which is good too. And of course, he probably knows all the things plus a bunch more... there is something powerful about he lessons. So we asked if he would like to take them, officially, and he said yes! He was kind of surprised cause nobody has asked him that before, but he said yes. So we set expectations with him... asked him what he was expecting to get from us, and us from him. And what he said he wanted out of us was a really neat experience for me... the Spirit was so incredibly strong that night. As I reflected his request it brought me to tears. He said he always hear's the "I know.... I know... I know.... I know this I know that I know I know I know..." he politly explained that that would mean a whole lot more to him if he knew the "...because..." So that's what he wants from us. He wants the "Because."
So I wanted to start by telling you all this... I know this church is true. BECAUSE I have searched the scriptures, pondered, and prayed. I have had it confirmed to me through the Holy Ghost time and time again. Every time I say a prayer, every time I read the scriptures, every time I say the words out loud... or type them... I feel it in my mind and my heart that it is nothing but truth. I have had experiences that are undeniable. Too many to list, and too special to list. I have felt the redeeming love of my Savior. And I have felt it though the priesthood power that is once again on this earth every time that I receive a priesthood blessing, partake of the sacrament and renew my covenants, and go to the temple. I am reminded each day that my Heavenly Father loves me and desires for me to be happy. And I know that this is the way, because He tells me so through the Book of Mormon, a modern day Prophet, and my own personal companionship of the Holy Ghost (:
I could go on and on... because my thoughts on the topic are endless. But I want to issue the challenge to each of you, because it really does result in a neat experience. The next time you think about/say what you know to be true... take some time to ponder the why/how/because... and I'm telling you. Bear your testimony every day... if not the one that you have, then the one that you wish you had... and you'll be able to feel of this love that I am blessed to feel, not only for myself from a Heavenly Father, but also for you.
I wouldn't be who I am or where I am without a loving Heavenly Father. For me, it all come back to His love, it's what explains it all... every blessing/experience/miracle I ever see can be explained by "because I have a Heavenly Father who loves me." I am proof that there is a Savior, I feel His power every day, and I testify that He lives and loves you too (: And do so in the His sacred name, even Jesus Christ, Amen.
~ Sister Madisen Elise Busenbark
I love you all, and I know that He does too... because trust me, my love wouldn't be this great without it actually being His love (;
Let's all show Him our love back, by keeping His commandments (: And allow Him to poor blessings down upon us.
P.S. This little guy finally got to be baptized a couple weeks ago!! By his dad, Roselino, a recent convert!! Exciting things are still happening in Bloomington since I left (: